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Explore companies, lawmakers and prominent individuals that matter to you and see how they're influencing the political system

What's New

Foreign Influence Explorer

After months of research, technical development and manual data entry, we are proud to unveil Foreign Influence Explorer—a new database housed within Influence Explorer that lets users explore how foreign entities influence policy and public opinion in the U.S.

The data comes from the Department of Justice and is collected according to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which places stringent reporting requirements on foreign governments, political parties, businesses and other organizations that aim to influence policy here in the States.

The new database also includes a feed of proposed arms sales documents from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. This data is included because so much foreign lobbying revolves around arms sales, which creates a nexus of influence between countries that want to buy U.S. arms and U.S. manufacturers that want to sell them.

Real-Time Influence Explorer

In addition to the new foreign lobbying data, Influence Explorer still features federal campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission in real-time. As we get closer to the 2014 mid-term elections, find who's spending the most to win a seat in Congress.

  • Influence Explored

    regularly updated news and analysis using Influence Explorer

    All-Star break: Anti-establishment groups spend big for few upsets

    As we head into a mid-summer lull in the primary action (the next competitive races are in August) it's a good time to take stock of some of the trends we're witnessing in campaigns across the country.

    Internal strife in the Republican party has been driving national attention — and outside dollars — to GOP primaries across the country. These heated primaries, combined with a raft of competitive general elections, have combined to account for an eye-popping amount of third party spending. Super PACs and dark money groups have already been spent over $122 million on independent expenditures in the 2014 cycle. Sunlight found eight races where outside groups outspent the candidates themselves, including the recent Republican nail-biterM in Mississippi.

    No groups have spent more attacking other Republicans than the Club for Growth, Senate Conservatives, Ending Spending and FreedomWorks. Though the party's conservative wing has scored a few notable upsets, campaign finance data from our Real-Time FEC tracker show just how little bang anti-establishment groups are getting for their collective buck. The bulk of their primary money, thus far, has been spent on losing candidates.

    See their return on investment below:

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